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New details are emerging regarding the Alabama Department of Education's involvement in improving the Montgomery Public Schools System. State superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice is sharing the details about the manpower dedicated to MPS, and for the first time he's saying exactly how long he expects the state to be involved.
"The win's there to have," Bice says confidently. He sees success in Montgomery Public Schools' future, but says there's a lot of work to do in the meantime.
"We're putting unprecedented resources in place to help turn this thing around," Bice says of the effort by the State. "We have 30 people that we've pulled from their day job with the state dept of education that will be participating along with other teams that were already in place to go into these schools to do these audits."
Bice expects those teams to spend the next 2 to 3 months conducting audits and interviews of teachers, students and parents.
Bice says there is no time to wait and adds that the process is long-term.
"We foresee this as a 3 year commitment," Bice explains.
"I am confident about the moves and posture of the State Dept of Education," says Ella Bell. She serves as State School Board President Pro-Tem and represents Montgomery.
Bell says she has some very strong concerns. "I don't know that they've necessarily changed, because I'm waiting," she explains, waiting with high expectations.
"I'm looking forward to this system being better than it's ever been, that it is more responsive to the children who are to come and those who are there right now," Bell adds.
Based on what the state superintendent has seen already, "I don't know if I've been to a meeting where there was that much positive energy," he says referring to Monday's meeting with MPS leaders.
Bice was the one who initiated the discussion about MPS during Thursday's board of education meeting. In his "superintendent's report" he referenced that positivity in the meeting this week and said he's very encouraged about the future of MPS.
While the State will be involved with MPS for the next several years, it's important to note that it's in what is referred to as "interposition" which is different from a state take-over, or intervention. The state superintendent describes it as an "in between action", a very strategic step to help the system develop the ability to sustain its success long term.
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